15-Inch PowerBook G4s
But the iMac was not merely a refinement of earlier beige desktop Macs. Enter the Titanium PowerBook , sporting a G4 processor and a design that immediately made the PowerBook G3 seem like an ungainly relic.
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At one inch thick, it was described as "unreasonably thin"--Apple's thinnest notebook ever. It also included the largest screen ever offered on a PowerBook. Down to its smallest detail, the TiBook was a work of art.
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Throw the exotic metal titanium into the mix and you have a PowerBook lover's frenzy of epic proportions. After two years of refinement, the PowerBook line expanded once again to include a inch and inch model, but this time using the more pedestrian metal aluminum: But while the 12" and 17" PowerBooks included all the latest interface, processor, and bus improvements, the TiBook was left to languish with "last year's technology. For nine long months, the irrepressible Mac rumors community repeatedly predicted the imminent arrival of a TiBook successor: When it was finally introduced at Apple Expo in Paris, it was anticlimactic.
It was a 15" Aluminum PowerBook G4, no more, no less.
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The whole line was refreshed with the latest technology, leaving a nice family of uniformly clad PowerBooks in three sizes. That's the high-level story, anyway. But notebook computers are unlike desktop computers in that a significant part of their value is derived from their physical attributes. Indeed, this is their very reason for existence, and every feature is seen through the lense of old fashioned mechanical usability.
Notebooks are tools in the oldest sense of the word: Hand-tool-like durability and convenience is a tall order for a high-tech device that has to cram the entire contents of a traditionally-stationary and rarely-touched desktop computer, including all input and output devices, into a stylish container the size of a small stack of paper.
When things go well, the notebook seems almost magical, like an impossible object. But there is a vast potential for things to go wrong. This is the low-level, down in the trenches story you won't read about in press releases or on product information pages.
The TiBook is a perfect example, and a cautionary tale. The flip side of its sleek looks and exotic metallurgy is that surprise!
The results were ugly. There were also hinge problems, heat problems, keyboard issues, and all the rest of the little things that can add up to a lot.
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It's these details of design and manufacturing that make or break a notebook computer, both as a product line and especially as an individual, physical object owned by a particular person. There are many others like it, but this one is mine. And it's a little larger by a few fractions of an inch. Like its and inch siblings, the inch model has ports on its left and right sides -- a configuration that may be a little cumbersome.
And this PowerBook -- like its aluminum relations -- gets very warm around the rear bottom corners. Perhaps the most sought-after feature in these new PowerBooks is improved AirPort reception. The new PowerBook found the Base Station and registered two or three bars -- not as good as the iMac's reception but far better than that of the older PowerBook.
This PowerBook's battery life is unimpressive. When the Energy Saver system preference is set to Highest Performance the setting used for our tests , you can expect to get two hours at most out of a fully charged battery under constant use. Although the 1. In our Speedmark tests, the 1. In other tests, the 1.
APPLE POWERBOOK G4 Reviews, Specification, Battery, Price
And demonstrating that an Apple laptop can be a respectable gaming machine, the 1. We can't check the vital signs of every computer Apple ships. We can, however, report on the quality of the PowerBooks we've received, and that report is not encouraging. Of six inch PowerBooks Macworld ordered from a non-Apple retailer, three had to be returned. One repeatedly locked up and experienced kernel panics after being unplugged from an external monitor, another's fan ran constantly, and another displayed only the magenta video channel when plugged into an external display.
So if you absolutely must have this PowerBook now, be prepared for potential problems. The screen on the 1. And the latch on this PowerBook locked inconsistently -- the lid occasionally popped up after it had been closed for a couple of seconds. Reports of such latch problems are widespread on the Discussions area of Apple's Web site and on other Mac-related sites. We understand that the first version of a computer is likely to have a few problems, but if our small sampling is any indication of how other inch PowerBooks are leaving the factory, Apple might benefit from cocking a sterner eye toward quality control.
The new inch PowerBook G4s are impressive pieces of engineering, with stunningly bright screens, plenty of power, all the right ports, and a solid feel.